Sitting at 18-18 the Wizards welcomed the Bulls, 19-19, into the Verizon Center in a game where the loser would fall to under .500. The Wizards have been hot at home and with a win tonight they would push their winning streak at home to ten games. With Jimmy Butler out due to illness and Dwayne Wade out to rest this game seemed like the Wizards would run away with it, but the Bulls wouldn’t let Washington get an easy win on them despite missing their two star players.
Going into the fourth quarter with the lead, the Wizards looked to build on it, but the Bulls didn’t let that happen. They went on their own 14-2 run and found themselves up by seven points. Markieff Morris hit two three pointers, pulling them within one and Wall connected on a mid-range fade away which allowed them to regain the lead. The Bulls responded with two free throws from Robin Lopez to go ahead 99-97. Washington came out of their timeout and put the ball in Wall’s hands, he was able to tie the game on a mid-range jumper over Lopez, 99-99. Michael Carter-Williams missed a fall away jumper with less than a minute left in regulation and Otto Porter was able to secure the rebound. Wall was able to come through in the clutch and hit the go-ahead fade-away jumper over Lopez again with just point five seconds left in the game. John finished the game with 26 points and 14 assists to lead the Wizards past the Bulls.
“We had a play that we were going to run if they did score, but they didn’t, so we had an opportunity to hold the ball and try to get the last shot possible in our shot clock. [Robin] Lopez did come out of the paint like he hadn’t all night, and I just took the shot with confidence.” – Wizards Guard John Wall
Washington opened the first quarter hot from the field hitting eight of their first ten shots but they only found themselves up by two, 19-17. Rajon Rondo came in the game and helped the Bulls gain the lead late in the first quarter. The Bulls were a perfect 4-4 from the three-point line and outscored the Wizards 24-7 in the last six minutes to go up by ten at the end of the first quarter. The Wizards shot around 58% in the first quarter but they turned the ball over too much, they saw their lead slip away and soon found themselves trailing by ten.
Early in the second quarter the Wizards trailed by 16 points, 42-26, the three point shooting by the Bulls was scorching them as Chicago was shooting 6-7 from three. Denzel Valentine came in off the Chicago bench and gave them 14 points in 15 minutes making four out of the five three pointers he shot. Wall came alive in the second quarter scoring 12 points after not attempting a single shot in the first quarter. The Bulls finished the first half of play shooting 80% from beyond the perimeter contributing to the double digit lead they had going into halftime, 61-49.
After trailing the Bulls at halftime by 12 the Wizards looked to bounce back in the second half. Beal seemed to catch fire in the third quarter, he scored ten points of his 19 points in the third quarter. Washington cut the lead down to single digits and kept inching toward Chicago trying to stay close. The Wizards took their first lead since early in the game off of a big three by Jason Smith putting them up 77-75 with under two minutes left in the third quarter. They ended the third quarter on a 14-2 run putting them up 81-77 going into the fourth quarter. The Wizards outscored the bulls 32-16 and held the bulls to 0-9 from the three-point line after the bulls had made eight in the first two quarters.
Free Throws: The Bulls shot almost 91% from the free throw line going 19-21 while the Wizards only shot about 66% going 6-9. Even though the Bulls shot double the amount of free throws the Wizards attempted they still couldn’t pull off the win.
Shooting Beyond the Arc: In the first half the Bulls were hot from the three-point line connecting on eight but that diminished in the second half and they ended the game 10-27, just 37%. Washington on the other hand shot 50% from beyond the arc going 11-22, helping them overcome their double digit deficit.
Rebounds: Both teams had 40 plus rebounds, the Bulls had 44 while the Wizards had 42, but the Bulls came up with more offensive rebounds than Wizards.
Points in the Paint: Both teams were almost equally matched when it came to scoring in the paint. The Bulls finished with 40 points in the paint while the Wizards finished with 38.
Fast Break Points: Washington made sure they forced the issue when it came to scoring on the fast break. They finished the game with 26 fast break points but the Bulls barely managed to get above double digits finishing the game with 11 fast break points.